Red Cross donations hit $145 million for Sandy relief

Superstorm leaves trail of damage
Superstorm leaves trail of damage

The American Red Cross continues to see an outpouring of donations in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The relief agency had raised $145 million as of Friday morning, up from $131 million on Monday.

Since the storm, businesses have announced donations totaling $123 million to the Red Cross and other nonprofit aid organizations, according to the Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Aid Tracker.

Companies that have pledged more than $1 million to relief efforts include Apple (AAPL), Coach (COH), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Walt Disney (DIS), FedEx (FDX), Goldman Sachs (GS), Hess (HES), Prudential (PRU) and UPS (UPS).

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In addition to pledging $1.5 million to disaster relief organizations, Walmart (WMT) donated 60 pallets of food and drinks, more than 2,000 board games and nearly 6,000 cases of cleaning supplies to people in New York State who were impacted by the storm.

PepsiCo (PEP) delivered more than 100,000 cases of drinks and snacks to New York state, and said it will donate an additional 22 truck loads of supplies. Del Monte Foods said it will donate 146 tons of canned fruit, vegetables and broth, as well as dog and cat food.

With the money it receives, the Red Cross is operating shelters and offering food, water and relief supplies to areas struck hard by Sandy. The agency has set up 472 shelters to date in more than 10 states, providing 75,000 overnight stays to storm victims since the hurricane hit. It has delivered more than 6 million meals and snacks and has handed out more than 2 million relief items, including hygiene kits, clean-up kits, shovels and rakes.

Related: Why there are no Red Cross shelters in New York City

The $145 million that the Red Cross has raised so far beats the $8 million raised over the entire recovery period for Hurricane Isaac, which struck the Gulf Coast earlier this year, according to Neal Litvack, chief development officer at the Red Cross. It's also much more than the $14 million raised in the wake of 2011's Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Katrina is the only U.S. natural disaster that has garnered more support, with the Red Cross raising $2.2 billion for relief efforts in its wake.

Donations for Sandy are still well behind the funds raised during international disasters like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan last year and the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. During the entire recovery periods for those events, the Red Cross raised a total of about $302 million for Japan, and $475 million for Haiti.

Among the other nonprofit organizations raising money for relief efforts, the Salvation Army has received more than $7 million in donations made online, by phone and by mail. The AARP Foundation announced today it would donate the nearly $1.3 million it has raised through its relief fund to the American Red Cross and local organizations in affected states. Feeding America has brought in $1.2 million in financial contributions and 150 truckloads of food, which it said will go to food banks in impacted areas. New York Cares has received donations of almost $1 million. As of Nov. 9, the United Way of New York City had raised $3 million, according to a fundraising survey conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

How to help

If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross online, go to You can also mail a check to: the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013. To donate by phone, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or give up to $10 by texting the word "REDCROSS" to 90999.

Visit CNN's Impact Your World for more information about the best ways to help hurricane victims, as well as how to volunteer for cleanup efforts.

The IRS also announced incentives for companies that let employees exchange vacation days, sick days or personal leave for cash payments that are given to qualifying tax-exempt organizations involved in Hurricane Sandy relief. Companies that adopt a leave-donation program like this are allowed to claim the cash payments as charitable deductions, and the amount of money donated won't be considered part of an employee's income or wages for tax purposes.

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